Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Leftovers...For Thanksgiving?!

Well, what a month November has been.

My National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) novel is almost at 40,000 words, so I'm par to finish on the last day of the monthNothing like the 11th hour, right?

Professionally speaking, there are changes coming in the next month for me.  I took a job last month that didn't quite fit my overall career goals, so I'm making some changes in that regard.  Hopefully, this change will make my home life a lot less stressful.  I have also had some interesting business propositions come my way, and now I guess it's time to, putting it crudely, crap or get off the pot.

Or, like Andy Dufresne says in The Shawshank Redemption - get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.

I can talk more at length about that some time later.  For today, though, I am finally going to reveal my Thanksgiving dinner plans.

The past several years' Thanksgivings have been full-out, all the stops affairs.  And especially the past two years, there have been classic dishes with a Nelson-esque twist.  This year, however, it's a nostalgic return to simplicity.

The Casserole.

My mom and I were discussing The Original Happy Meal about two weeks ago and I jokingly said, we should do like an all-in-one Thanksgiving dinner meatloaf (although I think I used the word terrine, but she didn't know what that was).  And she was all like Yes!  But I was kind of kidding...

Then I realized that a Thanksgiving loaf had many, many pros: 1. Less dishes in the oven at one time and less dishes dirtied at one time in general.  2. No need to worry about fitting all the choices in on your plate, one slice of the loaf and the entire meal was right there.  3. More room for dessert.

Of course, were my in-laws coming to my house for Thanksgiving, I would not have even thought about doing this.  They are traditional people and they want traditional-looking food.  Truth be told, my dad's the same way, but he either eats the weird stuff my mom wants to eat, or he eats peanut butter sandwiches and Van Camp's pork and beans at home by himself.  However, this year, things just worked out in that way where the day is just the five of us and my parents...and we just do bizarre things like this.

Eventually, the loaf idea gave way to a layered casserole.  Mom's going to roast the turkey the day before and bring over turkey slices/pieces.  She's also in charge of gravy and stuffing.  I've got the mashed potatoes and vegetables (I'm also doing breads and desserts, which we actually discussed putting in the casserole too, but thought that really might be pushing the gross factor).

Just so you have an idea where this is all going, here's an example of it from  Notice how the original title is Thanksgiving LEFTOVER Casserole??  What do you call it when it's not leftovers but the first-time, fresh-from-the-oven foodstuffs?

You call it something like Thanksgiving Dinner In A Dish (like, Bed In A Bag, but Thanksgiving-related, you know).

Don't worry, you know there will be pictures.

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